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Annual growth expanded by 1.9 percentage points from 2011 to 2012, according to statistics released by China Assn of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) on Friday January 11.
Sales of passenger cars comprised 15.5 million units of the total sales, up 7.1% year-on-year, while sales of commercial vehicles fell 5.5% over the same period, accounting for 3.81 million units.
Auto production also reached a record high 19.3 million tonnes in 2012, up 4.6% year-on-year.
In December, China produced 1.78 million units of automobiles, compared with 1.76 million units in November. The country sold 1.8 million units last month, against 1.46 million sales in the same comparison.
About 1.5 million units of passenger cars were sold during the month, up 0.1 % month-on-month, while sales of commercial vehicles accounted for 347,000 units, up 5.24% on the month.
China has now been the world's largest automaker and seller for the past four years.
Chinese automobile sales rose by 4.3% year-on-year in 2012, hitting an historical high of 19.3 million units.